Thursday, December 24, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Things I learned from being snowed in

with my husband for 48 hours...

*** He makes hot chocolate with water, no milk. I make mine with mainly milk, maybe a tiny bit of water. This caused some major discussions this weekend. I finally got him to agree that hot chocolate with milk tastes MUCH better. Of course, it doesn't hurt when you pour half a bottle of Bailey's in it either.

*** I'm never going to be able to convince him that Lifetime movies don't get old after watching them for 8 hours straight. He is still not a fan.

*** Setting the thermostat to 62 degrees is not acceptable to me when we're in the middle of a blizzard and can't leave the house. It was 57 degrees in our house on Sunday morning - he turned it down hoping it would "save money". I told him I'd rather have a $500 electric bill than freeze to death. I wanted it set to 76 - we compromised on 69.

*** He still thinks I looked pretty even though I barely showered or got out of sweatpants all weekend - awww!

*** He is just as obsessed with celebrity gossip as I am. Case in point: fighting over all the trashy mags I bought on Friday before the storm hit.

*** We didn't want to kill each other TOO many times by Sunday night - a success!!!

We spent about 5 hours yesterday digging out of the snow. We made little tunnels all over the front and side of our house and got all the cars cleaned off. As much as I did enjoy the lazy weekend, I'm seriously ready for it to melt already!! Once you have to start going out in it, it's not fun anymore!

Unfortunately, I had to come into work today - major bummer! At least it's a short week...can't believe Christmas is like 3 days away!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

20 inches!

Official measure (from our deck) - 20"!!! 

Saturday, December 19, 2009


We got snow! and it's still coming! By 9am, we had at least a foot and now at 2:30pm, I'd say we have close to 15 inches. And it's not supposed to stop until tomorrow morning! I wanted to be snowed in and I'd say we are DEFINITELY snowed in!! They are saying we will have over 2 feet by the time it stops. Wowza. 
Our deck at 9am when we woke up. 
Our deck at 2:30pm. 
Looking out our front door - this was after we had already shoveled it once. 
The one downside of not having a covered front porch! A mountain of snow at the doorway! (this was also after we had cleared it away once in the morning as well)

This is also Spencer's first experience with a major snowfall. We let her out this morning and had to drag her back in the house after an hour. She LOVED it!
This was at 9am - the snow is definitely over her head now!
Sprinting around like a mad woman. And yes, I admit, I went out and bought her a sweater yesterday to keep her warm in all this snow!
It looks like she doesn't have any legs in this picture!!
Looking down our road. 

I'm totally enjoying being snowed in - I doubt we will even be going to work on Monday!! 

Friday, December 18, 2009

Let it Snow!

We are in the dark purple - fingers crossed we're totally snowed in this weekend! 12"+ of snow would make me a happy girl! I've already stocked up on hot chocolate, soup and stuff to make grilled cheese sandwiches!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Getting there

We are making progress on our bathroom renovation. It's a long, tedious process and we've definitely hit a few speed bumps along the way. Our current issue is the plumbing for the new pedestal sink we are installing. Apparently the pipes don't work (fit?) with the sink we bought and Jake is going to re-plumb (What??? is that actually a word?) the bathroom so everything fits and looks pretty. Wowza. Please cross your fingers that our house is not flooded by my husband who is apparently adding plumber to his resume.

Anyways, we got all the NASTY wallpaper removed from the entire bathroom with the help of an industrial wallpaper steamer. Our friend Will owns his own painting company and has a hardcore wallpaper steamer that he loaned to us (and actually helped J with - it took the 2 of them about 15 minutes to get all that paper off). Underneath the wallpaper was about 2 inches of horrible wallpaper glue, which looked like boogers. Sorry for the gross visual, but that's what we're dealing with here. See, I told you! This is the walls and ceiling over the sink post- wallpaper removal.

After Jake scrapped all that off, it took 3 coats of Killz to cover the walls and ceiling to get them to resemble anything semi-livable. He then painted the top of the walls in Glidden's "Water Chesnut", and started working on installing the white beadboard.

We're doing the beadboard up 6 feet high. The reason is that all of our bathrooms have built in, wall-recessed medicine cabinets in them and the old owners were nice enough to cover the one in this bathroom WITH WALLPAPER! But not before they painted the entire thing BLACK. So we really couldn't salvage it, so we decided to just rip it out and cover it with beadboard. Here's what I'm talking about...
Here's the hole in the wall after we ripped the medicine cabinet out...

Here's the lovely medicine cabinet in all it's wallpapered glory - it has no idea that it's about to meet it's final resting place at the dump...

And here is that hole covered with the beadboard paneling. And a good shot of the new light J installed.

Now, I won't leave you hanging with just ugly demo pictures. Here's the current state of our bathroom:Lovely beadboard - still need to do the corner trim pieces, but J is working on those this week.

We have real walls and a WHITE ceiling - I really think this is my favorite part!!
The new light. I found it at Ballard Designs, on sale, then an additional 10% off, plus free shipping. Majorly excited about that one! (still have to install the beadboard behind the sink, but we need to work on the plumbing issues first obviously)The non-installed pedestal sink. We just set it in place so we could see what it was going to look like. You can see the pipes behind it - I really hope Jake can perform some miracles to get that to work.

Still need to do the baseboards and the top molding above the beadboard, but I love how it looks with the new floor!

So that's our current progress. We are having family over the Sunday after Christmas, so our goal is have the entire thing finished by then. Do you think we can do it??

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Edition: What I'm giving

I absolutely love shopping and giving gifts. It's just so rewarding to shop for something that you know your friends or family will adore and I love watching them open it! This year, I did the majority of my shopping online because I just got very tired of the crowds and long lines. It didn't take away from the "the thrill of the hunt" though. 

Here's a few things I'm giving this year...
Keel's Simple Diary for my sister-in-law. She journals every day, so I thought this would be a fun gift. It gives you questions, fill in the blank and multiple choice, so it's a nice change from just a blank journal. I found it at Anthropologie.
Also for my sister-in-law (she's the easiest person to shop for!), I found this quirky owl ring on Etsy. I love the eyes and how big and chunky the ring is. She's into unique jewelry and I can totally see her wearing it. 

My mom is getting my dad a Wii console, so we got him a bunch of games for it. He loves playing ours everytime he comes over, so I know he will love it. 

Real Simple magazine subscriptions for both mine and J's mom. I got these online from Amazon on Black Friday and a years subscription was $5!! I love giving magazine subscriptions for a gift because then the person will think of you every time a new issue comes in the mail. Plus, Real Simple magazine is such a great magazine (I sort of wish I had bought one for myself now!)
My mom collects the Spode Christmas Tree pattern, so I got her the Bread Basket. The size and handles would make it perfect for a lot of different things though, not just bread. I actually found this on Amazon as well, for a really great price and free shipping!

What are you giving this year? Do you brave the crowds to do your shopping at the mall or online in your pjs?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Cookie Party!

First - This is my 300th post! Woo Hoo! I had grand plans to do a fun giveaway for my 300th, but that may have to wait because I'm not ready...maybe a giveaway for 312 posts or something equally as random? I'll keep you updated!

Second - I went to my friend L's annual Cookie Exchange Party last night. So fun! To me, that's the perfect holiday party. Girls only, plenty of booze and cookies. Plus, for non-bakers like myself, it's a way I can get a few dozen Christmas cookies without baking them myself. J was literally waiting by the front door when I got home last night to see what kind of goodies I brought home. I have to say, this was one of the best years in terms of quality and quantity of cookies. All the girls had been emailing each other the week of the party to make sure that we had a good variety of cookies, and it worked out well.

Since I despise baking, this was of course a little bit of a challenge for me. I searched far and wide for an easy recipe that would still look like I slaved away over a hot stove. My whole problem with baking (and especially cookies) is that it just takes SO long and it's very labor intensive. I hate having to make batches and batches and checking and cooling.... So when I came across this recipe, I knew I found a winner:

Snickerdoodle Blondies (found from Dozen Flours)

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch pan. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. In large bowl, beat together butter, sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture until well blended.

Spread evenly in prepared pan (mixture will be somewhat cookiebatter-ish.) Combine white sugar and cinnamon in a little bowl. Evenly sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture over the top of the batter. Bake 25-30 minutes or until surface springs back when gently pressed. Cool slightly.

While still warm, cut into bars with a sharp knife. Yields: approximately 30 servings (depending on how you cut the bars)

Obviously super easy and I love that you just spread them in a pan, bake and you're done. They look fancy and they definitely got gobbled up at the party. Highly recommended, especially for non-bakers!!

Also at the party, we had my friend L's famous Punch. We call it "The Punch". She makes it every year and we literally drink every drop. It's pretty lethal and I definitely consumed 3 wine glasses full last night, which is probably too much for a Thursday night!

"The Punch"
2 1/2 c. Southern Comfort (basically an entire bottle)
2 1/4 qts. 7-Up
6 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 (6 oz.) can frozen orange juice
2 (6 oz.) cans frozen lemonade

Chill ingredients; mix in punch bowl. Add 7-Up last. Yum!

Happy Friday!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dear Santa,

I have been a VERY good girl this year. With Christmas just 15 days away, I know you are really busy with shopping for everyone. So I thought I'd put together a list for you, to make it easier for you to check everything off!Boatneck Ponte Dress from Lands End. Perfect for work because I can throw it on with fun flats and still look polished for weddings!
A silver engraved necklace with my new monogram. L-O-V-E this one from Etsy. Edit: The Etsy seller is courtneyanne Designs
Dory Barn Coat from Lands End. Santa, I hope you already bought this one for me because they are running out of sizes and colors! Better hurry!! (Chocolate Brown, please!)
Real Simple Best Recipes Cookbook. Being a new wife and all, I need something to wow my husband and make him believe that I AM Martha Stewart!
Santa, you are great at bringing me tech gifts. I-pods, Garmins, you name it. This year, you can put one of these adorable little video cameras in my stocking and I will be one happy girl!
Last but not least, a Little Green Clean Machine. Now, my mom said it's just wrong to put cleaning appliances on my Christmas list, but she obviously hasn't seen our old shabby carpet that we can't afford to replace right now. This will help me get those gross stains out so I can stop bugging Jake for carpet installation!

Thanks for reading this Santa. I promise to leave extra cookies out for you and the reindeer if you could slip any of these under our tree this year!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Can I please get married again

if it means I get to wear this dress?
(source: J.Crew)

Absolute perfection! I love everything about it. Don't get me wrong, I was (and still am) totally in L-O-V-E with my dress, but if I could do it all over again, I would buy this immediately. 

It's basically the complete opposite of my dress. My dress was form fitting, super structured and a very clean silhouette. This is flowy and romantic - I think it would be perfect for a laid back, beach wedding. 

Is our one year anniversary too soon for a vow renewal in Hawaii????

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

While the Husband is away...

J is out of town until tonight. He left Sunday and pretty much as soon as he was at the airport, I was scheming to work on a house project that I had to do while he wasn't home. I enlisted the help of my friend B and we got to work. Our project? An upholstered headboard for our new bed. 

As as soon as we bought our bed a few weeks ago, I knew I wanted to make a fabric covered headboard for it. I had seen the project on several blogs and it looked easy enough. Unfortunately for me, we are currently completely renovating our bathroom, so Jake refused to take on any other projects until that was done. Silly boy - he should know that I have NO patience and I would find a way to complete this project on my own. 

So Monday, while I was off from work, I went to the fabric store and Home Depot and collected all my supplies. Armed with fabric, plywood, a staple gun and plenty of wine, we got to work and a couple hours (yikes!) later, we had a finished masterpiece! And I'm in love with it!! 

I didn't take photos of our progress, but of course, I have pictures of the finished product:
I used a tanish-brown tweed wool material because I loved the texture and all the flecks of color in it. 
Close up of the fabric. 
We did nailhead trim around the headboard, as I had seen done on Emily's blog and fell in love with. Of course, I take a picture of the most messed up corner! But you really can't see the flaws too much and I think I'm going to play with it a bit more to get it to look a little bit straighter. 
Now, I didn't DARE try to hang this puppy on the wall myself - that will be a Jake project for this weekend. However, I have no patience and wanted to see what it was going to look like, so we propped the headboard up on the mattress to see it with the bed. Don't worry, I moved it before I went to sleep last night! When it actually gets hung on the wall, it will be lower than in these pics.

Also, I love how the nailhead trim mimics the design on our duvet! Totally not something I planned or even thought about until I saw them together, but I love the way it looks!
A room shot of the bed - please don't judge our mismatched lamps and horrible old bedroom furniture. Oh, and the horribly wrinkled duvet and bedskirt...eek! We're getting there. The bedroom has been neglected since we moved in and we're finally getting around to making it pretty! 

So that's my first DIY project for our house! It's definitely addictive and I want to do more! And I'm proud of myself for staying on a pretty tight budget for the whole project - under $50 for everything (including buying a heavy duty staple gun because we didn't have one)! 

Cross your fingers Jake loves it when he gets home tonight!! 

Monday, December 7, 2009


These are going in the mail today...
I got them from and I LOVE them. Jake wasn't as excited - he thinks they are too girly. But everyone knows it's the girls who pick out and send the cards anyways, so I'm sure people won't be surprised by our card. I was excited to use a wedding picture and a honeymoon picture. I'm also proud of myself for getting them done early - well, early for me. I've definitely sent out my cards like 2 days before Christmas in the past. 

Are you sending out cards this year? I can't believe there are 18 days until Christmas - Craziness!! 

Friday, December 4, 2009

We have tile!!

The new floor in our bathroom is done! We went with a black and white checked subway tile because I think it will look really good with the white beadboard J is installing next week. Plus I've just always loved how classic it looks and it's good for such a small space. 

Just a reminder, here is what we were dealing with before we did any renovations to this horrible tiny bathroom: Bathroom Reno Part 1

Onto the new pics...
I LOVE it!!
Up close shot of the threshold and the beautiful tile. I'm so impressed with Jake's handiwork considering he had to cut all those black tiles to fit. Yeah, he was not a fan of cutting the tile, but he did a good job!
Another view. This was before he glazed it, so it looks a little bit murky, but it looks perfect now!

As you can tell, we also have been busy peeling the BLACK floral wallpaper from the walls. That's a whole OTHER post. But it's definitely coming together and I am so excited to see the final result of all our (Jake's) hard work!!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Another one

Yes, I'm posting another wedding picture because I truly am obsessed with them...I like can't stop looking at them! This is another one of my favorites - it was right after our first kiss, as the pastor was announcing us as a married couple. I was obviously quite excited! (You can click on it to make it bigger). It's also a good shot of our ceremony flowers, which I loved. They were in these big garden urns and I love how soft and natural they were.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Ok, I lied. This isn't going to be a wordless post because I'm too excited...our professional pics are IN!!! We got them yesterday and I'm in L-O-V-E!! Seriously, I cannot be more excited that all 531 pictures are absolutely amazing. I promise to post my favorite ones over the next few weeks!

This may be my hands down favorite picture from the entire day. It was right as J and I saw each other for the first time before the ceremony. I'm totally framing this and putting it next to my bed - it makes me melt!! Such a cute hubs!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Hello December

I just welcomed December by stuffing my face with leftover stuffing (clever, I know!) for lunch. I definitely ate about 4 servings worth. Holiday diet = FAIL! I know what that poor turkey feels like to be filled with stuffing! 

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Hangover

Uggghh...I'm STILL full from yesterday! We have been serious lazy bums today - ok, that's a lie. I have been a lazy bum, Jake has been a busy bee! In my defense, I did address ALL our Christmas card envelopes so they can go in the mail next week. But I really only did that because I could do it from the comfort of our couch...ha! 

J has been BUSY BUSY BUSY on our powder room, which was gutted last week. I'm very proud of his handiness! He's been working on the floor and he's pretty sure he will be laying and finishing the tile floor tomorrow...woo hoo! When he pulled up the old tile and ripped out the vanity, we found a pretty messed up subfloor which has required more work than we originally thought. That bathroom was a hot mess to begin with, so I'm not really surprised that it's been a huge pain to update it. I've been taking pictures of his progress, so I can document all his hard work. To give you an idea of how heinous it was, here's the before pictures:

WARNING - These pictures are very graphic and feature the world's ugliest wallpaper and most disgusting tile and sink EVER! Don't say I didn't warn you!!
GAH!!! Seriously, it's such a TINY space that going in there with that wallpaper can seriously make you sick to your stomach and give you a headache! (do you like how I hung up some monogrammed towels to "help"?? yeah, that doesn't help at all!)
Another view - lovely plastic mirror!
Oh and it gets better - even the CEILING is wallpapered! with coordinating colors!! Yeah, I'm not kidding. And check out that gorgeous light!! 
The vanity with about 15 years of built up caulk and grime. 
The floor - doesn't that tile look disgusting...the grout is seriously BROWN! NASTY!!

So that's the before, just so you know what we were dealing with. We honestly didn't even go in to that bathroom for the first 4 months we lived here. I pretended it didn't exist. Thank god we have 2 other bathrooms. Anyways, I will have pictures of the new beautiful floor in a few days!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! HAPPY BLACK FRIDAY!! (did anyone go shopping? I refused to leave the house today!! ha!)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

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